Learning from innovative practitioners: Evidence for the sustainability and resilience of pasture fed livestock systems

Lisa Norton*, Lindsay Maskell, A McVittie, Laurence Smith, Markus Wagner, Claire Waterton, CA Watson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

There is an urgent need for transformational change in agriculture to address current and future issues caused by climate change, biodiversity loss and socio-ecological disruption. But change is slow to come and is hindered by a lack of transdisciplinary evidence on potential approaches which take a systems approach. The research described here was co-developed with the Pasture Fed Livestock Association in the UK to objectively evidence their practices. These include producing pasture-based meat from livestock fed on pasture and pasture-based forages alone. This approach sits alongside wider aims of fitting their practices with the ecological conditions on each individual farm to facilitate optimal production and working collaboratively through a forum for sharing knowledge. The research provides strong indications that the PFLA approach to livestock production is resilient and viable, as well as contributing to wider public goods delivery, despite variability within and between farms. It also reveals that learning and adaption of practice (through farmer experience) is central to farming using agro-ecological approaches. This fluidity of practice presents challenges for reductionist approaches to “measuring” agricultural innovations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1012691
JournalFrontiers in Sustainable Food Systems
Volume6
Early online date19 Dec 2022
DOIs
Publication statusFirst published - 19 Dec 2022

Keywords

  • grassland
  • holistic assessment
  • innovative practitioners
  • pasture fed livestock
  • resilience
  • sustainability

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